Welcome to the website of the Columban Way
Born around 540 CE, Columbanus was one of the most influential spiritual and cultural figures of the early Middle Ages. In 591 CE,he sailed from Bangor in Northern Ireland with twelve companions, of whom the best known is Saint Gall. Over 30 years, they travelled across Europe, founding communities and monasteries in territories which represent seven modern European countries: Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
Columbanus and his closest disciple Gall were figureheadsof ‘Irish monasticism’, the first great European monastic movement, promoting literacy and learning, foreshadowing the great monastic movements of the Middle Ages. Columbanus was the first writer to express the concept of a single European entity, united by common Christian roots, overcoming individual,ethnic and cultural barriers.
The cities and regions across Europe where his memory still lives are now coming together to create a Cultural Route, an association based on exchange and mutual understanding.